Ready to adventure into the Namibian wilderness, camp under the stars (in a tree), and get to know individual elephants by name? Interested in learning about potential solutions to human-wildlife conflict in a desert, where resources are scarce?
Damaraland, a vast, scarcely populated communal trust, has become a natural, unfenced refuge for desert-adapted animals such as black rhino, oryx, giraffe, springbuck, kudu, steenbok, baboon, lion, leopard, cheetah, spotted hyena, brown hyena, black backed jackal – and elephants! This area is still regarded as one of the last true wildernesses left on earth. (And hey, that sounds low-risk in terms of Covid-19 exposure to us!)
Camp under the stars, learn how to track elephant herds, monitor individuals’ overall health, record life events – and so much more. You’ll get to know elephants by name and start to understand their family dynamics and behavior! You’ll also learn about the stability of the ecosystem and why these desert elephants react the way they do to water.
Why does this project matter, and why will your time make a difference?
In Namibia, a water war is taking place between elephants and rural communities. As desertification and erratic rainfalls make access to water more and more precious, elephants and humans are coming into conflict at higher rates. In certain villages, elephants have been deemed pests because they destroy existing water sources vital for local communities. Alongside the government, this project aims to improve the lives of both parties by implementing sustainable solutions such as:
- Community education in schools and community-centers (how to behave around an elephant so as to reduce conflict; the benefits of elephants, etc.)
- Rebuilding and protecting community water sources destroyed by elephants
- Conducting research on local elephant herds, monitoring their locations, behaviors, etc. so as to reduce conflict
Learn more about the project by visiting our website: https://www.kayavolunteer.com/project/volunteer-elephant-community-water-access-project-namibia/
But Does Volunteering Really Help?
Yes, responsible service-learning does make a difference, and we believe you’ll benefit too. Read more about what responsible travel means and why it’s important. Also, check out the rest of our Wildlife Conservation volunteering programs to see what we’re doing in the world.
Details, Costs and Deadlines
Start Date: Rolling start dates; starting now! Closes early December until after New Years
Duration: 2-12 weeks (flexible)
Costs: $1888 for 2 weeks
Additional pricing upon request
Requirements: Age 18+
Location: Damaraland, Namibia
Arrival day: Every other Sunday
What is included in those costs?
- Accommodations: bed roll and mattress provided on tree platform (sleep in a tree!) or in tents
- Food: 3 meals per day (volunteers will help prepare)
- Training: pre-departure information pack, on-site orientation and project induction
- Support: 24-hour support from on-site coordinator; project support from project leaders
What’s not included?
- Flights (to Windhoek International Airport or Walvis Bay Airport)
- Transfers to and from airport (Windhoek International Airport is approx. $51; Walvis Bay is approx. $25)
- Overnight stay in Swakopmund on the Sunday of your arrival and on the Friday of your departure (approximately $51 for a bed in a dorm or $71 for a single room)
- On-site wifi
- Friday, Saturday and Sunday accommodations if you stay more than two weeks
- Any costs for Covid-19 PCR tests required pre-departure and in-country
- Police background check: US and UK citizens processed through Kaya (admin fees apply); all other nationalities must provide local police check
Contact our Placement Advisors at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions about costs, inclusions or anything else!
What about traveling during Covid-19?
As we prepare for a responsible return to travel, our priority at Kaya Responsible Travel is safety. We care deeply about the safety of both our participants and our host communities on the ground. With that in mind, we have developed and implemented extensive plans for selected projects in the Americas, Africa, and Asia where we can safely continue to carry out important work with our participants. You can learn about our reopening plans here.
Interested in Applying?
Apply through Handshake to express your interest and get contacted by one of our Placement Advisors. After they make contact, they can guide you through the process of choosing a Kaya program and submitting a formal application through our website. Our Advisors are friendly and ready to discuss any goals or challenges you wish to share; they can help you prepare to go abroad and answer any questions you may have about Kaya in general, our Covid-19 safety protocols, or specific internship/service opportunities.
Want to Talk to a Placement Advisor Before You Apply?
Not sure if this is the right experience for you? Have questions about costs, traveling abroad, or more? Are you considering any other Kaya opportunities, like our International Internships or our Virtual Internships? Please do feel free to reach out to our Advisors, Tom Gore and Jess Palmer. They’re ready to help – email them anytime at email@example.com.
Want More Options?
If you’re interested in internships or service-learning placements in Environmental Conservation, check out our top 3 programs in the field for (responsible) travel in 2021 and read more about our reopening process! If you’re not ready to travel yet, we get it. Have you ever considered a Virtual Internship (with added cultural workshops and chats with locals your age)?